“The Twilight Mansion”
With the sheer number of new character introductions upon Yuki’s arrival at the Giou’s Twilight Mansion, J.C. Staff must be pretty relieved to have two cours (24-26 episodes) to animate this adaptation. While the pacing could probably be sped up a tad bit as Yuki gets brought back to familiar surroundings from his previous life, there’s actually been ample material covered thus far that would make it somewhat difficult to do so. I dare even say it might be too jarring to the viewer if the subtleties of each character aren’t given time to flesh out, such as mansion manager Giou Tachibana (Miki Shinichirou) and his flamboyant behavior and resident doctor Fujiwara Isuzu (Narita Ken) and his emphatic desire to want to study Luka’s body. Then there are also the resident servant Kureha Aya (Yahagi Sayuri) and cook Tooma Katsumi (Okamoto Nobuhiko), along with Luka’s adorable dragon familiar Sodom (Ishikawa Momoko), whom we all meet for the very first time. To top it off, we also see Reiga and some of his crew, namely Ashley (Ueda Kana) and the twins Jekyll and Hyde (Oohara Takashi and Nakanishi Hideki). So um yeah, character introduction overload yet?
In an otherwise fairly uneventful episode amidst the flurry of new characters, the story did reemphasize the attachment Yuki still feels towards Kanata and how it’ll likely lead him to more heartbreak down the stretch. That of course is in addition to the pain everyone’s foreshadowed that he’ll have to endure once he starts regaining some of his memories leading up to his death as his former female self. There’s still the deception that Takashiro hinted at the end of the previous episode as well, so I get the feeling that there’s a lot of character angst in store for Yuki once each of these come to light. I’ll admit that the whole shoujo-esque nature of this series did become very apparent in Yuki’s dream when he called out to Kanata and told him he loves him (in the older brotherly kind of way), but that was cleverly balanced out by the bits of humor throughout.
The Tooko hug on Yuki for example was nicely followed up with one from Tsukumo, making Luka’s reaction pretty priceless. Tachibana on the other hand is Miki playing a somewhat goofy character like Urahara Kisuke in Bleach, which is a role you don’t see him in too often. Then there’s Dr. Isuzu, whose a completely different person once he gets his face out from underneath his piles of research and shaves. Fan girls of ultra hot doctors will probably rejoice about that, but even I admittedly prefer that look over the creepy one. Story-wise, it looks like Kanata/Reiga will be coming into contact with Yuki once again, so I imagine things should pick up in the coming episodes. There’s always the possibility we’re in store for even more character introductions though!